My day on a plate: Melissa Tkautz

Actress, singer, model and presenter Melissa Tkautz, 46, shares her day on a plate.

Melissa Tkautz.

8am After a workout, I have an egg-white omelette with cherry tomatoes before taking the kids to school.

11am I’m on the go a lot and it’s often hard to find foods that are suitable for my coeliac disease. I always pack a pear and some carrots to snack on during the day. I also have a latte from my local coffee shop.

1pm For lunch, my go-to is always a salad with a mixed greens base that includes a lot of spinach, plus prawns, pumpkin, bean shoots, cherry tomatoes and alfalfa. I don’t have salad dressing.

4pm I usually try to drink about 2½ litres of water a day. So far I’m on track.

7pm I am also pescatarian, so tonight’s dinner is barramundi fillet with mixed vegetables, chilli and garlic. I follow it with a fresh fruit smoothie.

Dr Joanna McMillan says …

Top marks for … Staying away from ultra-processed foods and eating plenty of fruit and vegies. You meet protein needs at every meal from the egg, prawns and fish, and choosing water as your main drink ensures you are well hydrated.

If you keep eating like this you’ll … Fail to absorb the fat-soluble nutrients and antioxidants your body needs. Egg yolks contain vitamins, minerals and carotenoids (essential for eye health), yet you only had the whites. And by avoiding a healthy dressing on your salad, you cannot absorb the fat-soluble antioxidants in the vegies. You are also low on fibre, not having any wholegrains, legumes, nuts or seeds.

Why don’t you try …Including gluten-free wholegrains such as quinoa, soba noodles, teff, millet or buckwheat. Add a handful of nuts each day. Toss canned beans, lentils or chickpeas in your salads, sprinkle seeds on top, and drizzle over some extra virgin olive oil and vinegar. Add natural yoghurt to your smoothie for a calcium boost.

Melissa is an ambassador for Coeliac Awareness Week, March 13-20.

This article appears in Sunday Life magazine within the Sun-Herald and the Sunday Age on sale March 15.

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